This safe washing guide is designed to make washing your car very easy by using an easy 5 step process.
- Wash Mitt
- Microfibre Drying Towel
- Pressure Washer / Hose Pipe
- Pre-wash solution or Snow Foam
- Snow Foam Lance
- 2x Buckets & Grit Guards
- Wheel Cleaner & Brushes
Safely washing your car is the most important part of maintaining it’s overall finish. If you are heavily into detailing and love the swirl-free, glossy look of your paint then following a poor washing routine will undo all your hard work and inflict swirls and scratches in your paintwork. Even if you are not a professional but just like your car to look it’s best then following this guide will ensure your cars paintwork is always looking it’s best.
Washing a car is often overlooked and rushed, especially with the increasing convenience of local hand car washes. However if you are reading this guide we are assuming you are one of those people who would much prefer to do the hard work yourself. This safe washing practise is the best process for removing dirt, road salt and road grime without hindering your paint finish.
If using a pressure washer please pay particular attention to the more fragile areas of your car, for example panel gaps, mirrors, areas where the paint is at it’s thinnest and always remember to never point the pressure washer directly or too close to the paintwork. Try to angle the head of the pressure washer at around 45 degrees to encourage the dirt to flow down the car towards the ground.
STEP 1: Pre-Rinse
The start of the safe washing procedure is to give the car a thorough rinse. This is to remove as much loose dirt and debris from the paintwork which could later get caught in your wash mitt and cause swirl marks and marring.
STEP 2: Pre-Wash
The Pre-Wash step is designed to remove as much dirt and grime from the paintwork before you touch it with a wash mitt. For best results in this step ideally you need a pressure washer and a snow foam lance as this will create a thick blanket of foam which will cling to your vehicle for longer. If you don’t have a pressure washer other options are available like pressurised sprayers or hose pipe attachments.
Mix the snow foam as per the manufacturers directions and apply to the vehicle. Once the vehicle is covered in a thick blanket of foam allow to dwell for 5-10 minutes, this will allow the solution to soften and encapsulate dirt and grime allowing it to be safely rinsed away.
TOP TIP: Whilst the snow foam is dwelling this is the perfect time to clean and prepare your wheels and tyres.
STEP 3: Washing
During the washing stage you make contact with the paintwork with your wash mitt, now your will realise the importance of properly rinsing and pre-washing your vehicle. This stage involves the use of 2 buckets (2 bucket method as it’s widely known.) Fill both buckets with fresh, clean water and add shampoo to one of them (you may want to agitate it with the pressure washer briefly to create thick, foamy bubbles). This creates a wash and rinse bucket.
Start by saturating your wash mitt in the shampoo solution, and then simply place the wash mitt onto the vehicle. Working from the top of the vehicle down, do not apply any additional pressure to the mitt, ensure the mitt travels smoothly over the selected area, once you have covered all the selected area place the wash mitt into the rinse bucket. by doing this you will release any hard particles / dirt trapped within the mitt ensuring they are not put into contact with your vehicles paint.
STEP 4: Final Rinse
Now you have successfully pre-washed and washed your vehicle you can now give it a final rinse to remove any excess shampoo, and leave the paints surfaces as clean as possible before the drying stage. Conduct this rinse in exactly the same manor as the rinse you performed at the start of the washing process.
STEP 5: Drying
Drying your car is to be done with the up most of care. This final stage of washing your vehicle is actually the one which can inflict the most damage if you are not careful. The use of a water blade or another drying tool which makes direct contact with the paint should be prohibited at all times as any piece of dirt left over from the washing stage will be dragged across the paint leaving swirls and scratches behind. The best way to dry your vehicle is to use a deep-pile microfibre drying towel, starting from the top of the vehicle and working down gently pat the painted surface(never rub / drag the towel), this will eliminate the risk of causing damage or marring to the paint.